Summary: I had the honor and privilege of performing my son's wedding and thought I'd share the ceremony with you.
Stephen Orlando Johnson and Nichole Elizabeth Trimble
August 25, 2018
Rite of Marriage
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the presence of God to witness the joining together of Stephen Orlando Johnson and Nichole Elizabeth Trimble in holy matrimony. God establishes the sacred relationship of marriage in Genesis, the very first book of the Bible.
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a help meet for him. … And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus adorns marriage with His presence and performs the first recorded miracle in the New Testament at a wedding in Cana of Galilee.
In the epistle to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul uses marriage to symbolize the union between Christ and His Church.
Stephen, Paul tells the husband to love his wife as Christ loves His Church. Nichole doesn’t have to earn your love. It’s a love that you are to give freely with no strings attached. That’s how Christ loves the church – freely and with no strings attached. As Christ loves the church, Stephen, this and only this, is what qualifies a man to be a husband.
The Apostle Paul also tells the wife to reverence her husband. Nichole, simply put, the wife is to love, respect and obey her husband as the head of the house in the same way the Church is supposed to love, respect and obey its head – Jesus Christ.
In our culture today, this word “obey” does not carry the image that scripture describes. When you obey someone you make a willing choice to follow the person’s leadership because you trust that person to make decisions that are best for the both of you.
Nichole, in a marriage relationship the wife makes a willing decision to submit to her husband because she trusts him. She recognizes, believes and trusts her Heavenly Father’s design for marriage.
Nichole, when the wife makes this decision she is not diminished. When the wife makes this decision she does not become second class. Nichole, the truth of the matter is this: when the wife willingly submits to her husband’s leadership, she is honored. Heaven sees her as the virtuous woman that’s described in Proverbs 31.
Marriage is the union of a man and a woman in heart, soul and body. It is intended for their mutual joy and celebration in the good times and for reassurance and encouragement in the not so good times.
Marriage is also for the procreation and nurturing of children in the ways of the Lord. “Be fruitful and multiply is the first commandment that God gave to the husband and wife. He wanted a family and He designed marriage as the means to bring this commandment to pass.
There is no greater union in scripture than the union of a man and a woman. Ladies and gentlemen, marriage between a man and a woman, is blessed by God. It is not to be entered into lightly but with the deepest respect and love before the One who established it. It is into this holy union that Stephen and Nichole have now come to be joined.
Stephen and Nichole, in presenting yourselves here today to be joined in marriage you are performing an act of faith. This faith can grow, develop and last only when you both decide to make it so. A lasting and growing love is not guaranteed by any ritual or ceremony. If you want the foundation of your marriage to be the love and devotion that you share for one another at this moment, then treasure it. Nurture the hopes and dreams that you bring here today.
Faults will surface. Disagreements will occur. You know they will. God knows they will. God sees our faults and He loves us anyway. When we disagree with Him, He loves us. Stephen and Nichole, when faults surface, love each other. When disagreements occur, love each other.
Stephen and Nichole, as you’re standing here before me today, it is not too late to change your mind and run if you’re not 100 percent sure. If you are 100 percent sure, we will continue. A simple nod of the head will do.